This past Sunday was the second week of Advent. The word Advent comes from the Latin root 'adventus,' which means "arrival" or "to come." During the next three weekswe are invited to slow down and become aware of God's love and grace that surrounds and sustains us.
This week we lit the candle of "descent." John the Baptist exemplies for us this path of descent. John's life was a journey of giving up control and letting go of his ego. As he was making way for Jesus to take center stage, he proclaimed, "Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:29-30). This is the way of descent, the path of letting go of our own agendas and superiorities, which in turn allows God center stage. The path of descent also is the way to owning our weaknesses and allowing God (rather than our own self will) to transform us.
Our egos can either "edge God out" or "ease God on-board." Our culture tells us we must fight, never give up and "win at all costs." The path of descent, however, teaches us what we allow to die in God's hands will be reborn to new life. This Advent we are invited to a journey of descent. We are invited to practice "little deaths"- letting go of our desire for things to go our way, letting go of our place in line, letting go of our need to be right, letting go of our need to argue and posture with family, etc.. These "little deaths," when practiced and placed in God's hands, can transform us. They become the pathway for a "reborn life" in which we ease God on-board rather than edge Him out. We joyfully walk the path of descent knowing that our one life radiates Christ.
Reflect this week:
How is your spirituality one of ascent or descent?
How can I "Ease God On-board" rather than "Edge God Out"?
By Babs May-Clark